Researchers Find New Drug That Could Ward Off Migraines

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Researchers Find New Drug That Could Ward Off Migraines

Post  KimbaK on Sat 31 Aug 2013, 12:54 am

I found an article on yahoo today that discusses a potential new drug that could help prevent migraines. I can't seem to link it so I am just going to copy to here:

California scientists working with mice have identified a new compound that could put a halt to migraines. Their findings are important since current treatments seldom prevent the recurrence of future headaches in those who suffer from them.

The new compound could combat migraines by blocking light sensors found in human eyes, according to Medical News Today. Findings of researchers from the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences appeared in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.

A migraine is a severe type of headache that can be debilitating to many sufferers. WomensHealth.gov reports that it affects 29.5 million Americans and is the most-common type of disabling headache for which patients visit physicians.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), migraines are three times more common in women than in men. Many sufferers report a family history of these headaches, which can last as long as 72 hours. Common symptoms include nausea and vomiting, pounding in the head, and sensitivity to light and sounds.

Medical experts haven't found a cure since they don't completely understand migraine pathophysiology. However, despite medications to treat and prevent attacks and patients' lifestyle changes, NINDS says sufferers experience increased sensitivity after each successive episode.

The California researchers identified a series of compounds called opsinamides as blockers of a light sensor in the eye known as melanopsin. They already knew that melanopsin can sense light independently of the normal visual process. It also maintains sleep cycles and causes the pupil of the eye to contract when an individual encounters bright light. This triggers the light sensitivity linked to migraines.

Convinced that they could prevent or at least treat migraines if they could block melanopsin, the Salk researchers faced a major obstacle. They needed to find a way to avoid blocking two other types of receptors, rhodopsin and cone opsins, that send information related to vision to the brain.

The scientists tested hundreds of substances. After exposing mice to light, they measured calcium levels, since these levels rise in melanopsin with light exposure. They found that opsinamides blocked any increase in calcium, signifying that they had blocked melanopsin. There was no evidence that the opsinamides interacted with rhodopsin or cone opsins. In addition, the mouse pupils didn't shrink in size, indicating that the chemicals successfully blocked the melanopsin receptor.

The team verified this finding by testing the compounds on mice without melanopsin and found that the substances had no effect. When they used them on newborn mice, which pull away from bright light even before opening their eyes, the mice didn't avoid the light.

Once the scientific community fully investigates and develops these compounds, the resulting new drug could prove a way to ward off migraines and also to help those with disrupted sleep patterns.

Vonda J. Sines has published thousands of print and online health and medical articles. She specializes in diseases and other conditions that affect the quality of life.

Comments anyone? I'm not crazy about a drug that alters the chemical pathways between my eyes and brain. Seems kind of risky to me.

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Re: Researchers Find New Drug That Could Ward Off Migraines

Post  7777Trinity on Sat 31 Aug 2013, 5:30 am

This research really only changes light perception, there is nothing in the study that actually suggest it will reduce migraine. I think human testing would have to be done in order to see if their theory would actually work.

That said, if bright light were the only trigger for migraine and this worked, well that would be great. Smile

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Re: Researchers Find New Drug That Could Ward Off Migraines

Post  Platypus on Sat 31 Aug 2013, 10:38 pm

How do they explain that I wake up with migraines, in a dark room?
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Woke up with pounding migraine

Post  KimbaK on Sun 01 Sep 2013, 11:24 am

I have blackout curtains over my light reducing blinds. All the lights are out and its nice and cool in here. I hurt. I do not feel any pain in my "light receptors."

I am going to stick my head in an ice bag after I take a handful of "Abortives."

K

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